How four-way play is bullish on HCA
David Russell | [email protected]
optionMONSTER's Heat Seeker monitoring program detected the purchase of 2,000 September 41 calls for $1.56 and the sale of a matching number of September 35 puts for $1.33. A related trade occurred at the same time in the June 40.50 calls, which were sold for $0.42, and the June 33.50 puts bought for $0.19. There was no cost aside from commissions.
Volume was below open interest in June but not September, which suggests that an existing position was closed and rolled forward in time. The strategy is bullish, with a strong correlation to the hospital company's stock.
Owning calls locks in the price where shares can be purchased, while selling puts creates an obligation to buy if they drop. Combining the two lets the investor fund a long bet by writing insurance on the stock. The strategy stands to generate significant leverage if the trader is right about the direction. (See our Education section)
HCA fell 2.28 percent to $38.20 yesterday. It's up more than 50 percent in the last year but has been stalling on either side of $40 since early April.
Yesterday's bullish trade pushed total option volume to 9 times greater than average in the session, according to the Heat Seeker.